Originally posted by Nemesio
But no one has been able to offer a reasonable explanation how my behavior
-- whether I water my lawn and wash my car daily or never -- has any effect
on the water supplies elsewhere. Can you explain the mechanisms at
work which lead you to believe that my long shower times result in the
lack of access for people halfway across the world?
There appears to be a mis-understanding here. Let me clear it up. I know this is a long post, but please hear me out.
You are all correct. Take long showers and washing your lawn does NOT effect Ethiopians or water-poor countries.
But you must ask where that water comes from? Let's take the United States.
If you live in the east coast, a-lot of your water comes from the Great Lakes.
If you live in the mid-west you almost fully depend on the Ogallala Aquifer (an underground lake). Much of the world uses this water.
Thus, your use of water does NOT result in a lack of access for people half-way across the world significantly. They are in water-poor areas - i.e. there are no vast bodies of freshwater.
Taking long showers and spraying your lawn takes water out of, say, if you are in the Midwest USA, the Ogallala Aquifer. Well (and this is factual), unfortunately, all Americans in that region are using water like you, and there is a 99.6% overdraft
of the Ogallala Aquifer. This means that .4% of the lake is being replaced per year.
Thus, spraying your lawns to keep them green and taking long hot showers to feel good is a dangerous waste of supply. Furthermore, not sure I mentioned this earlier, but climatologists predict that we are due for a drought that could last at least 30 years (recall the 1930s dustbowl...this is 10x worse). If we have no water, we cannot survive it! We have a lot of water now, but we are not in a significant drought! When that drought hits, we will not have enough water to take long showers or keep our lawns green!
Mankind has used what took 200 million years to produce in a matter of decades. We have got to reduce our use! It is already getting too late. By 2025 we will be facing issues with water like we are with oil!
Water's not our only problem. We're killing off biodiversity (which provides more than beauty), we're destroying natural cycles that have sustained our survival, we are spreading out pollutants in the air...200 million years of pollutants being spread in the atmosphere in a matter of a century.
Now let me finish this off with a warning...our population has EXPLODED to a few BILLION past our carrying capacity. The carrying capacity is how many humans the globe can sustain. Well, we are not only 2-3 billion people past the carrying capacity, but we are using resources at a rate much more than necessary for our survival. In addition, we are extending our lives with new sources of medicines and technology. Overall then our population is at least probably another 2 billion above carrying capacity, at the least.
It's inevitable. We WILL
run out of water and resources, such that 10 billion people cannot survive simultaneously! If you look at the populations of other species, none have been able to live excessively past there carrying capacity, let alone living past it by a margin of a few BILLION. Our population is damning itself. When we're out of water, it will take several decades to replenish so we can survive. 10 billion people cannot survive that long. Our human population will take a crash.
By reducing our use of resources and our rate of growth, we can either delay this or reduce the catastrophe that is to come.
I seriously hope, for the sake of myself, of my children, their children, and for our species...I hope that we can get through what is to come. Our society will have to change. Whether we do it ourselves or a natural disaster forces us to break our lifestyle in desperation, we have got to realize that mankind shares a place with all of the other species on this planet, our only home. If we cannot recognize ourselves as part of nature, rather than society, then we cannot survive.